Using ground-penetrating radar. Photo: Martin Rundkvist.
Using ground-penetrating radar. Photo: Martin Rundkvist.

The Aska barrow, where the hall has been found, was long seen as a burial mound. But archaeologists have now revealed that it is a foundation platform for a large building, most likely dating from the Viking Period. The hall was probably the home of a royal family whose rich graves have previously been excavated nearby.

“Parallels are known from several of the era's elite sites, such as Fornsigtuna near Stockholm and Lejre near Roskilde. The closest similarities are however seen in a recently excavated feasting hall at Old Uppsala near Stockholm. Such close correspondences suggest intensive communication between the two sites”, says Martin Rundkvist of Umeå University

The building was about 14 metres wide and was equipped with double walls and four entrances. The measurements also indicate a large fireplace at the centre of the floor.

“Our investigation demonstrates that non-invasive geophysical measurements can be powerful tools for studying similar building foundations elsewhere. They even allow scholars to estimate the date of a building without any expensive excavations”, says Andreas Viberg of the Archaeological Research Laboratory at Stockholm University who directed the fieldwork.

The study was published today in the journal Archaeological Prospection:
















For more information

On archaeological geophysics:
Andreas Viberg, PhD, Archaeological Research Lab, Stockholm University, phone 0046 8 16 45 90, mobile 0046 70 489 79 15, e-mail

Home page


On the Viking period in Sweden:
Martin Rundkvist, PhD, Umeå University, mobile 0046 70 929 56 28, e-mail